Artist profile: Lon Eric Craven

I've been an artist all my life, and started heading into illustration before getting out of  elementary school. I was drawing dinosaurs, other animals and people for friends, concert programs and literary magazines. My hometown newspapers, The Kansas City Star and The Kansas City Times miraculously arrived every day with new illustrations, comics and political cartoons. Inspired, I started working for the high school newspaper, and began drawing political cartoons for my little hometown paper by the age of 16.

The support of my parents and a few very valuable years at the University of Kansas took me further into illustration, and the idea of illustrating something permanent. The late Thomas B. Allen and his frequently-invited illustrator friends, combined with a lot of ink, pencil and paint edged me deeper into mediums that challenged me to each next level.

But the newspaper's promise of a space to illustrate – not to mention a kidscoverFINAL.gifsteady kidding – kept me in the business through more than two decades of college, grad school, teaching and fatherhood.

My experience in print media led me into children’s illustration. Library books and our own growing library compel me to be a part of an industry that can teach and entertain children and their teachers for years to come. I thoroughly enjoy helping young artists learn what they need to discover their own creativity.

I've watched my own children learn from their beautiful and brilliant mother using curriculum and library resources I would love to have had a hand in. And we are all further enriched by visitors to our home from all over the world as they share their stories, cultures and friendships with our somewhat landlocked family.

My friends at  WendyLynn & Co. represent me to the publishing industry. A selection of my work also appears at

If my work interests you, or if you're a curious art-seeker who just stumbled onto it, drop me a note at